Mamak Malaysian Cafe
340 Cambie Street, Vancouver (Map)
Since I don't want to just blog about my trip, so I am planning to inject entries about local restaurants here and there. Anyways, around a week ago Chowtimes hosted an event in conjunction with a new local Malaysian restaurant called Mamak Cafe.
Mamak Cafe is actually located inside Pub 340. If was kinda hard to find if you don't know what you are looking for, as there was a small printed sign on the glass windows of Pub 340. This private event costing only $12 was attended by 48 others like myself who just loves to eat. Mamak also printed out nice colorful brochures to explain in details about the dishes that will be served. Without further ado, here is the first one...
Roti canai with curry sauce ($1.50, all prices = regular price). The roti was different from what I typically had in Malaysian restaurants. This one was not fluffy, but quite flaky and crunchy. Personally, I prefer the fluffy version better. The curry sauce was nice and mild.
We also tired chicken and beef satay ($3.50). The chicken was surprisingly tender, so in comparison the beef was slightly dry. The satay peanut sauce was the highlight, as it was made with coarsely chopped peanuts. For someone who doesn't like peanut better, I thought the sauce was pretty good.
My favorite dish of the day has to be this: Bakuteh, aka pork rib tea (肉骨茶). Essentially this is a pork rib soup cooked with tea and other spices. We were also provided a side of Chinese donuts, and dipping sauces (soy with chili & thick soy with garlic) for the meat.
The soup was cooked for hours, thus it has that rich taste, with a hint of sweetness to it. Upon taking a closer look at the soup, we found out the reason why the soup was so delicious, it's because they didn't only just use the pork ribs, they also used pork belly as well. Both the pork belly and the rib meats were super tender.
We also had Shrimp Mee Goreng ($8.90). The shrimps/vegetables was fresh, but there was a problem with the noodles, some were burnt which resulted in a unpleasant taste. The sauce was rather spicy, some people at our table found it extremely spicy, while other thought it was mild, but one thing was for sure, the sauce was liked by everyone.
Last dish of the day is a sampler plate of beef rendang, curry chicken and sambal prawn on rice (all $8.90, of course the portion would be bigger than this). The beef rendang was very well done with a strong flavor of lemongrass. The chicken once again was tender with a mild curry sauce. My favorite was the sambal prawn, as home made sauce was great, it had just hint of sweetness, and balance out nicely by the tomato base.We weren't offered dessert with this tasting menu, but was surprised by the chef. He prepared a tapioca topped with coconut milk and palm sugar. Although the presentation was nice, but the tapioca was all stuck together and a bit hard to mix. A reader of Chowtimes who had just been back from Philippine brought a wide varieties of souvenir which Ben and Suanne decided to ruffle off for this event. I rarely win anything, but to my surprise, I actually won a bag of organic raw cane sugar, guess it was my lucky day. :)
Personally I had a great time at this event, the food was good and meeting new people is always nice. The one thing about this place is that it's quite small and a bit dark, we were actually seated in the bar, but the real restaurant can maybe hold about 20 people. Therefore, if you do plan to visit, make sure you go early or make reservations.